Christ Crucifixion Remembered

Good Friday in the Philippines is like Christmas in the US.  The big difference is that it is not a joyous holiday like Christmas.   It would be closer to heads held in shame.  Why not, God came to earth and how did we react, we killed Him!

It is a widely observed holiday in the Philippines. Nearly all businesses are closed for Good Friday.  Jollibee’s Jesus' Crown of Thornscloses one day a year and that day is Good Friday.  In The Philippines, people are even crucified on Good Friday.  They do stop short of death.  Others subject themselves to self flagellation.  The Catholic Church frowns on such practices but most Filipino hold these people in high esteem.  I hold them in high esteem too.  I don’t think what they do is necessary but I admire their conviction.

These extreme rituals are to  punish oneself and be cleansed for ones sins.  I think the gift of the cross does that for us, cleanses us.  However, these kinds of actions do bring home that God was human and He suffered greatly for us.  He didn’t hold himself up to be all powerful and grand, He came meekly, suffered with us and the Filipino seem to get that.

The entire week preceding Easter is a solemn time.  Bogo was much quieter than normal.   Only in the very heart of the city was there a lot going on, Lots of tricycles, lots of people going here and there.  Banks were closed for most of the week.

Christians every where could learn much from the Filipino remembrance of the crucifixion of Christ.  I know that this week has meant more to me than it has in the past.

This morning there was a mass at 4am followed by a procession.  One of our maids went and lost her shoes!  There were so many people that when her shoes came off by accident, she was unable to stop and get them.  They were likely flip flops.  But in a sleepy little town like Bogo City, so many people are up at 4am that you can’t stop to go get your shoes.  I wish I had gotten up.

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Filed under: Living In The Philippines

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